Shooting rocks southern Sweden’s Malmö

A man was rushed to hospital on Thursday after being shot at after thieves tried to rob a currency exchange, in the latest of a string of shootings to take place in the southern city of Malmö.

Shooting rocks southern Sweden's Malmö
Police inspect the scene in Malmö after the shooting incident on December 4th 2014. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

The incident took place in the bohemian district of Möllevången in the city centre. A gang of three masked men pulled up in a car outside the currency exchange store and proceeded to storm the building armed with weapons including axes and a pistol.

Witnesses reported that they heard a number of shots being fired and initial accounts indicated that a man working in the shop was seriously injured.

"He was beaten over the head and taken to the hospital in an ambulance," Stephan Söderholm of the Skåne police told the TT news agency.

The man was believed to be conscious and cooperating with the police giving details about the attack.

Local newspaper Skånska Dagbladet reported that the thieves had managed to swipe an unknown amount of cash. Rival newspaper Sydsvenskan stated that when the trio came out of the building they fired a shot in the air.

The thieves fled the scene in a car which had stolen licence plates. It was later found abandoned at a nearby crossing.

"It's clearly positive for the investigation that we found it," added Soderholm, who confirmed that a number of witnesses had come forward to provide statements.

Malmö has been rocked by a spike of high profile crimes in recent months. On Monday a justice centre was bombed for the second time this year and there have been several car bomb attacks.  

The Local/pr

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Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to forced psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

In its judgement, the court said that an examination by forensic psychiatrists had found both that there were “medical reasons” why Engström should be transferred into a closed psychiatric facility and that “his insight into the meaning of his actions and his ability to adjust his actions according to such insight were at the very least severely diminished”. 

It said that under Swedish law, a court could send someone to prison who was in need of psychiatric care only if there were “special reasons” to do so. 

“The court considers that it has not been shown that Theodor Engström’s need of psychiatric care is so limited that there is a special reason for a prison sentence,” it ruled. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months.